“Marking” Identity and Respectability: Halifax’s African School and Scholars of the Needle

Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Central Library (Lindsay Children’s Room) or click here to join online via Zoom 


Lisa Bower: Assistant Curator and Registrar (Cultural History), Nova Scotia Museum

Abstract: Embroidered pictures composed of text and images known as “samplers” were commonly produced by nineteenth-century white settler schoolgirls across Nova Scotia. A remarkable example made in 1845, by a student at Halifax’s African School, proves the practice was also a part of the Black schoolgirl experience. Samplers changed over time and served multiple purposes. Needlework instruction and production became a paradoxical experience for its students, particularly for young Black Haligonians, simultaneously representing oppression and empowerment.  

Click here for a bio of Lisa Bower

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